On being loud and Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Caramel

“35,000 units of heparin are in.”

“1/3 of the protamine is in.”

Recently, in the OR, I was jokingly told that I have a “trumpet voice,” meaning I make sure what I’m saying is heard. It’s true, I have my teacher-voice. Not the, oh why are you on the table dancing around? voice, but the make sure I speak loudly enough so that people in the back of a 35 kid packed classroom can hear me voice. I take that with me to the OR, and to medicine in general.

My attending meant my trumpet voice was a good thing, because it is important for everyone to be able to hear you in cardiac surgery room when you’re giving large doses of critical medications but I chewed on that comment for a few minutes. In my experience of medicine, it seems like female physicians who demonstrate an outward confidence, rather than a quiet confidence, are labelled aggressive or scary. That’s not always a bad thing, but it’s interesting because when I hear a description of a male physician with similar qualities, you don’t hear the same pejorative terms. None of this is new, but in my short career as a doctor I’ve noticed this color the feedback my women colleagues and I have received. A quiet (normal toned?) woman with plenty of confidence is told to ‘believe in herself more.’ What? Ok. A loud woman with plenty of confidence is told that others ‘might view her tone as over-loud.’ What? Ok. It seems like you can’t win — either you fit into the mold of woman that needs bolstering, or a woman that needs to be taken down a few notches.

So, if you can’t win, just be your best professional self, modulate your behavior and tone to a specific situation, rise in the ranks, and change medicine (or insert profession here) from within. Support other women be whatever version of confident they want to be, whether that’s outward confidence or quiet confidence.

Now, peanut butter cupcakes with banana caramel — it’s delicious, it’s amazing, and proves again that Cupcake Jemma is a genius. The only change I really made to the recipe isn’t really a change at all — I added salt to the banana caramel.

These aren’t all that difficult to make, but the caramel can be time consuming. Boy oh boy, does the banana flavor come through, it’s great, not artificial at all. The peanut butter flavor isn’t overwhelming. It all very tasty and works well together.

Peanut Butter Banana Caramel Cupcakes with Peanut Brittle
From Cupcake Jemma

Banana Caramel
420g white sugar
220ml water
200g squished banana (I used frozen and rewarmed bananas, 3 total)
180ml heavy cream

Peanut Brittle
220g white sugar
4 tbsp water
125g chopped roasted and salted peanuts
15g chopped butter

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
125g self raising flour
125g white sugar
135g unsalted butter, soft
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
75g smooth peanut butter
2 lg eggs
1.5 tbsp whole milk

Banana Caramel Butter Cream
200g unsalted butter, soft
330g powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 of the banana caramel

Okay, so I made the banana caramel first. First, get everything together. I whizzed up my bananas in a food processor, you can squish then any way you like as long as it’s pretty well blended. Mix together the white sugar and the water, and then put it over medium-high heat in a sauce pan and don’t touch it. Don’t mix it, don’t do anything. The sugar will melt beautifully, but it takes some time. Pull it off the heat when it’s an amber color, and add in all the banana moosh and stir it in. Then back on the heat until it’s the dark color you want (I like darker caramel). Then off the heat and add in the heavy cream, stirring quickly. Then set it off to the side to cool.

Then start on your peanut brittle. Put aside a large piece of parchment paper. Same technique as the banana caramel, but without the heavy cream. So mix together the water and the sugar, then put it on the heat and don’t touch it until it’s a lovely dark color, add in the butter, stirring constantly, and then add in the peanuts, and quickly pour it onto your parchment paper or silpat. It sets pretty fast, so just be aware of that.

Then on to your cupcakes! Preheat your oven to 340F, line a tin with 12 baking cups.
Then mix in all the ingredients into the stand mixer, and mix until it just comes together. Then fill up your baking cups, and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.

While that is going, you can make your butter cream. Whip the butter up with a paddle mixer attachment for 3 minutes until it goes pale and fluffy. Then add in your sugar half at a time and mix for another three minutes. Then add in 1/3 of your banana caramel and mix for another 2-3 minutes. Then fill up a pipping bag if you’re using one and you’re good to go.

When your cupcakes are cooled, core them so you have a pocket in the middle and fill it up with your banana caramel (I just put it into a plastic bag and piped it into each cupcake). Then top with your butter cream, and finish off the whole thing with a piece of peanut butter brittle!

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